Iran, Russia hold joint naval drill

February 16, 2021 - 17:25
India will also join the exercise

TEHRAN – Iran and Russia started a naval drill in the northern parts of the Indian Ocean on Tuesday. 

The drill started after a flotilla of Russian military vessels arrived in Iran’s southeastern waters on Tuesday.

The Russian flotilla, comprising Stoiky frigate and Kola replenishment oiler, was given a salute by Army and IRGC vessels upon arrival in Iran’s territorial waters, Tasnim reported.

The slogan of the naval exercise is “security of maritime commerce”. The maneuver will cover an area of 17,000 square kilometers and it will last four days.

Russian commanders on board the visiting flotilla first held a meeting with Iranian peers at Chabahar port to make arrangements for the drill.

Admiral Gholamreza Tahani, the deputy commander of the Iranian Navy and the spokesman for the military exercise, said on Tuesday that “security is unstoppable” and “exercises for promoting security is unstoppable.”

Tahani, who said the maneuver with Russia will be held annually, added the purpose of the exercise is “to strengthen security and its foundations in the region”.

He also said, “The most important message of this exercise is peace and friendship for neighboring countries and those in the region,” according to Press TV. 

“Iran, in the 43rd year after the [1979 Islamic] Revolution’s glorious victory, has reached a level of maturity in maritime science and technology that it is hosting world powers a second time for a combined drill.”

Iranian Navy Commander Hossein Khanzadi told the IRIB on Tuesday that India will also join the exercises. The Navy chief also said the purpose of the joint drills is “maritime security” and “collective security” in the region.

“Since last year, a series of combined maritime security exercises have been held with the participation of regional and world countries …. In the drill, which began today, the Russian Navy has joined the exercise site and the Indian Navy will also participate,” Khanzadi remarked.

Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, Iran’s deputy army chief for coordination, said on Sunday that the joint exercise with the powerful naval forces of Russia has a clear message that the Iranian Navy has reached the level of world naval powers in terms of equipment, human forces, techniques and tactics, command and control, as well as modern telecommunication systems.

“The navy exercise will be staged with the purpose of ensuring security in north of the Indian Ocean,” he remarked.

In December 2019, Iranian, Russian and Chinese naval forces held the first ever joint drill in the Gulf of Oman and northern parts of the Indian Ocean, focusing mostly on counter-terrorism and anti-piracy tactics.

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